Posts Categorized: Research News

Family dynamics: molecules from the same family have different effects in cancer prognosis

Family dynamics: molecules from the same family have different effects in cancer prognosis

Scientists observe that one molecule increases liposarcoma tumor cell spread and aggression while another molecule from the same family decreases migration and cell proliferation. Researchers at Hiroshima University have found that different levels of two molecules of the same family—TIMP-1 and TIMP-4—can influence prognosis of liposarcoma. High levels of TIMP-1 lead to a poor prognosis while high TIMP-4 indicates a less severe form of liposarcoma. This study, published in Carcinogenesis 10th May, described the molecules’ mechanism of action through the YAP/TAZ pathway. Further research can lead to new treatments and better methods of diagnosis for liposarcoma. Different types of cancer have different prognoses (medical outcomes) and some are easier to… Read more

Being too harsh on yourself could lead to OCD and anxiety

Being too harsh on yourself could lead to OCD and anxiety

A correlation was found between strong feelings of responsibility and likelihood of developing OCD or GAD in American university students  A new study has found that people who reported intense feelings of responsibility were susceptible to developing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) was published in the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy. “People with OCD [are] tortured by repeatedly occurring negative thinking and they take some strategy to prevent it… GAD is a very pervasive type of anxiety. [Patients] worry about everything.” describes Associate Professor Yoshinori Sugiura of the University of Hiroshima. Anxiety and OCD-like behaviors, such as checking if the door is locked, are common in… Read more

This oral appliance could help you (and your partner) sleep better

This oral appliance could help you (and your partner) sleep better

An original design for an oral appliance developed in Hiroshima University Hospital can help sufferers of sleep apnea sleep more soundly   Researchers measured a novel treatment for sleep apnea developed at Hiroshima University Hospital with positive results. By measuring patients lying down flat, the researchers stimulated sleep conditions and measured the patient’s airways using 3D imaging. The study confirmed that the treatment is effective at opening the airways and warrants further collaboration between dentists and doctors in treatment of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes throat muscles to relax and narrows the airways of those affected while they are asleep. Snorting, choking or gasping while… Read more

Success of university programs to promote rural healthcare in Japan

Success of university programs to promote rural healthcare in Japan

Researchers confirm university programs encourage physicians to work in rural areas An ambitious health economics study from a consortium of 5 Japanese universities has shown that different university programs to promote the equal geographic distribution of physicians increases the number of graduates practicing in rural areas in Japan. Graduates from these programs were on average 24% more likely to work in non-metropolitan areas than those not involved these programs. Access to healthcare in rural or low-population areas is a problem that affects countries worldwide, not limited only to developing nations. Many developed nations have an aging population, which in countries like Japan and Germany, is putting pressure on their healthcare… Read more

New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists

New target for chronic pain relief confirmed by scientists

Scientists observe drug target that can reduce pain when activated   A research group at Hiroshima University observed a potential new target for chronic pain treatment. Further research using this receptor could lead to new, more effective drugs to use in pain-relieving treatment for chronic pain. Conditions that cause chronic pain can be difficult to manage. These include sciatica, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Chronic pain mechanisms are complicated, which is one of the reasons why pain management is so difficult, explains Professor Norimitsu Morioka of the Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Biomedical & Health Sciences, Hiroshima University. This difficulty decreases the quality of life of patients that, in many cases, can suffer from… Read more

New biocontainment strategy controls spread of escaped GMOs

New biocontainment strategy controls spread of escaped GMOs

Engineers safely control genetically engineered microalgae   Hiroshima University (HU) researchers successfully developed a biocontainment strategy for genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Their new method prevents genetically modified cyanobacteria from surviving outside of their test environment, enabling ways to more safely research the effects of GMOs. Their results were published in ACS Synthetic Biology. The applications of bioengineered microbes have appeared in a number of fields, including agriculture and energy production. Engineered microalgae, for example, can help clean up oil refinery wastewater and work as a source of biofuel. However, like many other GMOs, the safety of engineered microalgae is uncertain. “Engineered microbes could dominate some environment or attack an… Read more

The cosmic ray gun duel of Eta Carinae

The cosmic ray gun duel of Eta Carinae

High-precision X-ray observations confirm binary star system shoots cosmic rays     An international collaboration operating NASA’s NuSTAR satellite has revealed that two of the biggest stars in the galaxy are capable of creating cosmic rays. Their results were published in Nature Astronomy this month. In the time it takes you to read this sentence, hundreds of cosmic rays have pummeled through our bodies. Cosmic rays are mostly made of protons and electrons, with the smallest fraction made of X-rays and gamma rays. These jets of high-energy particles not only make up a sizable portion of radiation astronauts and airplane pilots receive, but they also can reach the ends of… Read more

X-ray technology reveals never-before-seen matter around black hole

X-ray technology reveals never-before-seen matter around black hole

X-ray polarimetry resolves shape of matter around Cygnus X-1 black hole     In an international collaboration between Japan and Sweden, scientists clarified how gravity affects the shape of matter near the black hole in binary system Cygnus X-1. Their findings, which were published in Nature Astronomy this month, may help scientists further understand the physics of strong gravity and the evolution of black holes and galaxies. Near the center of the constellation of Cygnus is a star orbiting the first black hole discovered in the universe. Together, they form a binary system known as Cygnus X-1. This black hole is also one of the brightest sources of X-rays in… Read more

Researchers identify new type of depression

Researchers identify new type of depression

Protein linked with depression shows promise as new drug target     Depression is a mental disorder that affects over 300 million people around the world. While treatments exist, many of them are based on one hypothesis of how depression arises. Patients that do not fit this mold may not be getting benefits. A study led by Hiroshima University (HU), which was published online this May in Neuroscience, shed light on how one protein called RGS8 plays a role in depression behaviors. Scientists think depression occurs because of the monoamine hypothesis, so named for the type of two chemicals that depressed people lack: serotonin and norepinephrine (NE). Ninety percent of antidepressant… Read more

Space-like gravity weakens muscle development

Space-like gravity weakens muscle development

Microgravity conditions affect DNA methylation of muscle cells, slowing their differentiation   Astronauts go through many physiological changes during their time in spaceflight, including lower muscle mass and slower muscle development. Similar symptoms can occur in the muscles of people on Earth’s surface, too. In fact, it could affect everyone to some extent later in life. “Age-related skeletal muscle disorders, such as sarcopenia, are becoming a greater concern in society,” said Hiroshima University (HU) Professor and Space Bio-Laboratories Director Louis Yuge. “It is especially a big concern in Japan, where the number of aging people is increasing.” In a study published in Microgravity, a medical research group at HU led by Yuge shed light… Read more